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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fear is the key !!!

My Colleague's bike

Whenever I see my colleagues riding motorbikes in a group going out on holidays I know that I am missing all the fun and adventure of biking. I used to be an avid biker few decades back and to be exact 33 years back ….when we guys used to zoom about in the city racing one another and having fun with the rush of wind on your face while riding. Those days few makes of the bikes were cannibalized and the end product would be owner’s pride and while it is ridden through the locality one would know as to who is driving by. Also another thing of the past was throaty roar of bikes whose silencers have been removed and the racket it creates while throttling used to scare other vehicles to veer away from the bike. There were times when we used to make trips from Chennai to Tirupati just for the heck of driving and used to have lodes of fun. But after one fateful day way back in 1981 when two of my friends were crushed to death under the city bus I stopped riding bikes and till this day still have the fear of riding one. 

It is said that once a person learns to cycle he/she can never forget to balance the two wheelers throughout lifetime similar to swimming so few years down the line my friends have tried pushing me to ride a bike and when I tried my whole body went rigid and I rode the bike similar to a beginner quite unsteadily…a psychological fear that has never left me!! Recently I was browsing the net and I came across portal sharing similar experience by persons and the remedy to such fear. They describe that immediately after such incidents or accidents one must not stop riding for a long period of time otherwise they would experience the feeling I have now. I am comfortable driving four wheelers and have been doing that from 1982 but then have stopped riding two wheelers.

I wish that I had not shirked away from riding a bike way back in 1981…. I would have had greater fun here in Oman.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Click -12...Hawk

Last year while going towards Wadi Shad we had to drive across a patch of back waters and i suddenly saw a hawk sitting on a rock in the waters
Hawk was waiting for the fish to come up to the surface . I waited for some time to see if the hawk is able to catch a fish but then was not so lucky to capture that scene.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Amuku Pishsasi or Pei (Crushing Ghost)

Image Courtesy : Google

Few months back in the late afternoon I get a frantic call from my wife saying that she had just come out of the clutches of dark forces and she begged me to come back to home immediately. I rushed back from office and reached home in record 45 minutes weaving through the rush hour traffic from Kathipara Junction (at Chennai). On reaching home I saw my wife sitting forlorn on the sofa and on enquiry she told me that she had gone for afternoon siesta and when she wanted to get up she was unable to do so and she felt paralyzed by an immense weight pressing her down. She said she was a victim of amuku pishsasi ..a term in Tamil which means a pressing or crushing ghost and for a long time she was wide awake but then was not able to move any part of her body or limbs. I rubbished her thoughts of ghost and told her not to worry but then she was not willing to accept my explanation and she kept telling of similar episodes her grandmother had encountered and recounted about the ghostly experience to her and her siblings and warning them of such attacks. I tried my best to calm her down and to remove her fears did a Google research and I found out about “Sleep Paralysis” and the Wikipedia’s explanation is as under

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience a sense of inability to move, similar to when an arm or leg goes to sleep, but not associated with numbness. More formally, it is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It can occur at sleep onset or when awakening. It is believed a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams. Sleep paralysis has been linked to disorders such as narcolepsy, migraines, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea; however, it can also occur in isolation.

I was surprised to note that such incidents of sleep paralysis were in folk lore of many countries around the world and was considered to be the work of a demon. British and some parts of America called it “Old Hag”, in Finland and Sweden as “Mare”, in Turkey as “Karabasan”, in Thailand as “Phi Am”, in Hungary as “Boszorkany”,in Nepal as “Khyaak”, in Tamilnadu, India as “Amuku Pei” and the list goes on and on and I can fill the entire page with the names of the demon. Only after reading this article did my wife relax much to the relief of my daughters and me.

Have any of you had this experience ???

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Random Click 11 - Sunset at the beach

                      Vividly colorful sunset at a beach in Muscat and it does take your breath away.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tree with roots on the top !!!

An unusual tree in this part of the world and when it is dry looks as though the roots are on the top ....frankincense trees

Frankincense an aromatic resin is bled out of the these trees and dried and used as incense and also as an ingredient of perfumes used in these parts of the world.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Burnt Fingers - A lesson learnt !!!!

This post is mainly about smoking and hence I need to put up this slogan “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health “. A colleague of mine regularly keeps borrowing cigarettes from all other persons at the smoking zone each time he feels like smoking instead of buying the same on his own..and in spite of subtle suggestion by some to buy his own packets he still continues live of others. The same person in the late evenings keeps popping into my flat for having a free drink and couple of smokes. Now this is quite irritating that each day you have an uninvited guest at home and also intrusion to my privacy and space but then since he is my neighbor and a friend I could not bluntly tell him that he is not welcome each day of the week. Instead another friend of mine jokingly told him that all of us here have come to earn money and there cannot be freebees on a daily basis.  From then on whenever he come home (frequency reduced considerably) he does brings over his own drink and the only thing he still ask is the cigarettes since he cannot have cigarette packet in his home since his wife would crucify him. Now days he maintains a packet of cigarette at the office and he has changed for better. 

On this note I am reminded of a person with whom I worked at Iraq in 1981 and the incident that took place with him then which I narrate now. I was just 24 years old and I took up an assignment as a junior electrical engineer with an Indian firm that had picked up a largest construction contract awarded to an Indian company at Baghdad. I and eight other persons traveled to Baghdad as one of the initial mobilization teams to set up the construction site and among us there was a senior electrical engineer from Bangalore who was aged between 38-40 and all others were in my age group.  This person whose name I am not able to recollect ( Let me call him “K”) had the same infuriating habit of living on other peoples things in spite of getting much higher salary. Initially all was well since we were just about 15 staff based in unknown land and we used to go around various places of Iraq on weekends without giving many thoughts to K’s habit. The staff strength increased constantly and in few months there were more than 150 staff (engineers and office staff) and yet K’s habit continued unabated and tempers amongst us would flare up  but then since he was our senior and the boss of a division we were never able to tell him bluntly on his face, though we have been giving indications of displeasure in subtle ways…like if he is coming to anyone’s room then that person would hide his cigarettes, drinks or eatables and tell that he does not have any to spare but then K was equally smart and  would somehow ferret out the hidden cigarette and drinks. 

Image courtesy Google Images
Then one day when we all were fed up to the core we decided that we need to teach K a lesson that he would never forgets for ages to come. This task was left to one of my colleague who used to lose the entire packet of cigarette K on many occasions and the plan was quite simple but effective. What we did is that we bought a packet of cigarette and removed the tobacco from few cigarettes and put in match stick head and refilled the same. All the cigarettes were replaced inside the packet and left casually on the table within the room. As usual our bumming friend K dropped into my friend’s room and found the packet of cigarette on the table which he casually pocketed thinking that he has taken it without our knowledge and walked away. Eight of us were now waiting for the inevitable to happen since K’s room was just across our row of room…then we heard a loud shout as the match flared up and burnt his fingers. We guys were stifling our giggles and we did not give much attention to the shout and acted as though nothing has happened and were waiting for fireworks to begin from K but then nothing was forthcoming. Then couple of hours later we saw K with a thick bandage on his fingers trying to avoid looking into our eyes. We learnt later that he tried smoking five more cigarettes from the same packet and three of the cigarettes burnt between his fingers. That was the last time that K ever asked for cigarettes from us and for that matter from that day he totally avoided us till the end of our contract….good riddance.  Indeed a lesson learnt by him. I know what we did was not fair but then we were quite young and this could have been avoided by a firm no in the first place.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scarab Beetle ...the ones you see in the movie " Mummy"

The movies shows millions of beetle come down in form a flood devouring humans in their way within minutes....fortunately for me i found only one of them in the desert here ;)

It is a myth that these beetle are flesh eating and they are actually dung eating beetles.